Help to bring accessibility to my game

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iOS & iPadOS Gaming

Hello,

I am Dominique Vial, an indie iOS developer from France. I created several puzzle-game released on App Store, each of them having a Color-Blind mode for player to separate tiles. Here are the games on App Store and dedicated pages on my website:

I have no people around me suffering from color blindness so I am looking for feedback about color blindness modes. If you interested in please contact me using this contact form.

I used tools to simulate color blindness: Color Oracle and Sim Daltonisme.

Simulated color blindness

Then I am interested to go one step further and increase accessibility for my games by offering Voice Over support. I don't know if this can be possible with these games but I want to try it! I am currently rewriting Novae from ground using Swift 3 so this is the perfect moment to bring full accessibility.

Regards

Dominique

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Comments

Submitted by JTran2013 on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hi,
I would like to thank the app developer for making your games accessible! I enjoy playing puzzle type games.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Friday, March 10, 2017

It souyds like a really good idea but unfortunately I am no game developer so can't help very much.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Friday, March 10, 2017

I have tried the free game and see that the first thing that should be done is to label the buttons with text. I have clicked around and tried to see things but the buttons need to be labeled and I haven't been able to start a game to try. This can become accessible.

Submitted by Dominique on Sunday, March 12, 2017

I am currently rewriting Novae from the ground. I'll then include accessibility support to this new version.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Sunday, March 12, 2017

Brilliant. If you can send me a promo code I will gladly try it and be of help. My email is sabrina059 at gmail dot com. You can send it there or pos] it here. Thanks for trying to make your games accessible.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Sunday, March 12, 2017

I am really interested of Nixie too. I like the fact that there are unlockables and this is a type of game I have been looking for.

Submitted by Dominique on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Here follows promo code for Novae and Nixie. These 2 games have accessibility for color blindness only.

Novae :

  • http://tokn.co/8hpukm8g — redeemed
  • http://tokn.co/nyky5utr — redeemed
  • http://tokn.co/0ujra57q — redeemed
  • http://tokn.co/kv7tsg4m — redeemed

Nixie:

  • http://tokn.co/p7fa86xp — redeemed
  • http://tokn.co/rk56tugk — redeemed
  • http://tokn.co/e8ef75sj
  • http://tokn.co/zw922nc7 — redeemed

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Sunday, March 12, 2017

I got the promo codes. Nixie I haven't come very far with but Novae can work really great with some labeled buttons. I have managed to start the game and I think I see the tiles but they are all unlabeled. I haven't been able to do much. I think the first step is to label the buttons and put text for VoiceOver to read to see the tiles. This sounds like a very interesting game. In Nixie I cannot see any buttons but I have managed to make it sound by turning VoiceOver off and tapping around on the screen.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Sunday, March 12, 2017

I can actually see the score and level indicators at the top of the screen since it is text.

Submitted by Dominique on Sunday, March 12, 2017

I use SpriteKit to create Nixie. This is a game library from Apple. The bad point is accessibility does not come with it. The good point is I found last week a way to add it. So this will be the next big update for Nixie.

Submitted by Dominique on Sunday, March 12, 2017

I think the author of this comment already post this answer on StackOverflow or on Apple's forum. Currently I've done successful experiments on node that were direct children of Scene for Nixie. Next step will be more difficult I guess!

Submitted by music fairy on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thank you for beginning to add accessibility to your games. I look forward to playing!

Submitted by dean mills on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

its nice to see you want to make this game work with voice over. i'd be happy to test the game if you think it would help.

Submitted by Dominique on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Thank you for your support.

I'll keep you informed of the released of new versions of both Novae and Nixie.

Currently I am rewriting Novae from ground using Swift 3, the new language from Apple. As I take time to do this I don't expect a playable version until May.

Nixie is already released using Swift 3 but using SpriteKit, a dedicated framework from Apple to design game. Unfortunately this framework bring complexity for accessibility. So I have to work on game design and find answers to tricky problems in order to bring full accessibility. This is a great challenge! Estimated Time of Arrival: let's say June!

I am an indie developer so from time to time I need to refill the money bag by hiring me to some companies. This lead to pause on my apps development!

Submitted by Dominique on Friday, April 7, 2017

Novae 2 development is on a pretty good rhythm. It is entirely rewritten in Swift 3, from the ground in a swiftify way. The game mechanic is OK and at the end of this current day, yesterday for me, the game is entirely playable from start to Game Over. I then started designing the game for accessibility. And I guess I have a problem! Let me explain it.

Novae is a puzzle game where tiles are dropped on a grid. Tiles can be dropped from four directions North, East, South and West using specific touch zones. These Touch Zones, TZ are placed "behind" the grid meaning they are hidden to player. So, to resume, tiles are visibles with no actions attached to them and TZ are invisible with actions attached to them. Thus to drop a current tile from the north player have to tap in the top of the grid. And to drop current to the east, tap on the right of the grid. And so on. If my understanding is correct, for accessibility, player tap the screen to discover an element and double tap to select it. So there is a problem as tiles are placed above the TZ: the first tap indicate the tile and the two taps trigger dropped. This is confusing and make the game impossible to play. I hope my explanations are clear!

A solution is to move the TZ from the back of the grid to a clear space. Then player can discover tiles disposition on the grid by taping on them and drop tiles on desired direction by double taping on the associated TZ. To achieve I need to create a specific version for Voice Over.

So I have questions:

  1. is this the right way to proceed?
  2. does the user have to select a "voice over" mode or do the app automatically discover VoiceOver is ON and then change its behavior?

I plan to ship a first beta targeting accessibility in the incoming two weeks. If you are interested to help me please contact me back to be added to the Tesflight program for beta distribution.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Saturday, April 8, 2017

I would like to be in the teest flight. I think this is interesting. You have got my email.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Saturday, April 8, 2017

I didn't get it. My email is sabrina059 at gmail'com.

Submitted by Dominique on Saturday, April 8, 2017

In reply to by Sasha Stride

Ok, I re-send an invitation.

FYI, TestFlight is the Apple's beta program: this is the official Apple way to distribute beta.

:-)

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Monday, April 10, 2017

Are you supposed to get an invitation via mail? Because then I haven't gotten it.

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Monday, April 10, 2017

I dont want to be difficult but I still havent gotten it' I have tried looking in my spam folder but it isnt there' again my email is sabrina059 at gmail'com' Still don't know how to do the at sign.

Submitted by Dominique on Monday, April 10, 2017

I now have a working draft with VoiceOver support. I have tested it on simulator and everything is fine, in my opinion of course.
The app is at a very early stage of beta development: user can play game but there are a lot of features not implemented as I paused the implantation of these features to give priority to VoiceOver support.

Today I submitted this version to Apple for beta validation. Yes, even for beta used by only few testers there is a validation: it's annoying for developer but it's a great point for end user security! So, tomorrow testers will be able to test it.

Submitted by Dominique on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

In reply to by dean mills

If you want to test Novae, please contact me back using contact form on my website and provide me an email for Apple TestFlight's configuration.

Submitted by Dominique on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hi there,

A new beta is coming:

  • accessibility for the whole game
  • tutorial
  • more features added

Two main features are missing:

  • Levels management
  • Game Center

Submitted by Sasha Stride on Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I am beta tester for this game and look forward to testing the new version. Thank you Dominique.

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